Sunderland moved out of the relegation zone with a 3-0 win over fellow Premier League strugglers Reading at the Stadium of Light on Tuesday to ease the pressure on manager Martin O’Neill.
First-half goals by James McClean and Steven Fletcher and a late strike by Stephane Sessegnon secured the points as the experienced O’Neill celebrated a year in charge of the club.
Sunderland have jumped to 15th with 16 points from 16 games while Reading are left languishing second from bottom on nine points and remain six points from the safety zone.
“It was important for us to get the first goal. To get it so early on probably settles us down and gets the crowd with us,” said a delighted O’Neill.
“We had to do something to raise spirits. That goal was very important. The second goal gives us that extra boost.”Reuters